History

Chronology

This chronology includes a few events that are outside the Middle Fork watershed, such as road developments in the South Fork and major events at Snoqualmie Falls. They help to set the context of what was happening in the Middle Fork relative to the immediately surrounding area.

1855 Indian Wars around North Bend.
Tourists visit Snoqualmie Falls for the first time.
1867 Wagon road over Snoqualmie Pass completed, passes over Grouse Ridge
1868 Fires burn much of the western front of Cascades in the Puget Sound area
1869 Jeremiah Borst and Arthur Denny use the Middle Fork to access present day Snoqualmie Pass where they discover iron ore on Denny Peak
1896 Andrew “Dutch” Miller discovers copper at La Bohn Gap
1897 Mining at the Laura Lindsay Mine
1899 Snoqualmie Falls generators begin producing electricity
1900 William Goldmyer develops the adit on Burntboot Creek that will later become Goldmyer Hot Springs.
1901 Exploratory mining begins at Rainy Mine on Quartz Creek
1900-1907 Two mine shafts are sunk at the Dutch Miller Mine and 150-200 tons of ore are removed for transport. Horses are used to take some out for tests but then operations are halted.
1907 Middle Fork timber surveyed by David Shiach.
The Mountaineers climb Mount Si as their first club outing.
1909 North Bend incorporates.
Norman Bridge built near site of existing Middle Fork Bridge.
Chicago, Milwaukee & Puget Sound railway line to Snoqualmie Pass completed.
Large flood on the Snoqualmie river in November, but gage to measure flow.
1910 Fires burn slopes of Mount Si and Mailbox, and threaten small towns from North Bend to Montoc
1915 Sunset Highway through Snoqualmie Pass is dedicated
1918 Boxley Burst destroys the logging community of Edgewick
1923 The North Bend Timber Company starts logging up the Middle Fork (around Camp 15).
1928-29 Railroad extended to 1 mile past Taylor River and Camp Brown is built.
The first official Mount Si trail is built, known as the “Taylor Memorial Trail”.
1930 Nordrum Lookout constructed on the East flank of Quartz Mountain just above the confluence of the Taylor and Middle Fork
1931 The first official Mount Si trail dedicated on May 10, 1931
1932 Large flood on the Snoqualmie river in February but no gage to measure flow.
1933 Code of Self Government (The Lumber Code) commits industry to sustained yield.
1934 NBTC secures loan which includes provisions to log the Pratt Valley.
1935 Rail Line and Camp Brown rebuilt from damage during logging slowdown of the Great Depression.
1936 Railroad bridge over the Middle Fork to the Pratt Valley is completed, to be used through 1941.
Caterpillar logging begins on south side of the Pratt River.
Construction of CCC road begins.
1937 Pratt rail line reaches “The Switchback”.
Pratt Maintenance camp built (sand houses for sand used as traction aid on steep tracks).
NBTC abandons Camp Brown
1938 Fires burn much of Mount Si
1939 Construction of CCC road ends, joining the NBTC rail grade 9 miles up the valley
1939 United Cascade Mining Company submits proposal for a Mines to Markets road to the Dutch Miller mine. Various geological surveys around the mine and road surveys are performed over the next fifteen years in support of this.
1940 Great Fire in the Pratt Valley
1941 Pratt logged to Thompson Lake.
William H. Taylor dies.
1941-42 Railway pulled out of Pratt Valley.
Rail easements converted to road way.
1943 Rail line no longer active along the Middle Fork.
1942-1948 Truck logging focused on the West Side of the Middle Fork, Granite Creek and up the Taylor
1945 Earthquake hits Puget Sound, causes landslides on Mount Si
1950 Wood truss Howe bridge built near site of existing Middle Fork Bridge.
1951-57 Active copper mining at Rainy Mine on Quartz Creek
1955 “New” Mount Si bridge installed, moved from it’s previous spot on the White River in Buckley
1956 Valley Camp established
1959 Huge flood on November 23 prior to the installation of the Tanner gage. This was the largest flood event in modern times — USGS estimates a peak Middle Fork discharge of 49,000 cfs from floodmarks. 1400 feet of U.S. Highway 10 were washed out near North Bend where a logjam caused the South Fork to cut a new channel.
1961 Tanner river gage installed in February
1963 Alpine Lakes Wilderness area proposed
1964 Mount Si bridge built.
1966 Flood levies created in North Bend along Middle and South Fork rivers
1965 Flood control dam is proposed on the Middle Fork river, and another on the North Fork.
1968 Forest Service OKs 7 mile extension of the Middle Fork road to extract copper from the Dutch Miller mine. Protests from conservation groups block it in court by 1972.
1970s Taylor River logging is the last large‐scale logging of National Forest uplands.
1971 DNR and Mountaineers work together to create a new Mount Si trailhead to avoid private land.
Buffalo Party holds ‘rock concert’ at Taylor River campground
1972 Ore-Timber Industrial Slide Company submits proposal to use snow vehicles to haul ore from the Dutch Miller Mine
1973 Black River Quarry Co. begins blasting rock from the face of Mount Si, starting a long process leading to creation of the Mount Si NRCA.
After years of studies and controversy, Governor Evans finally decides against dams on the Snoqualmie Rivers.
Current alignment of Mount Si trail cut by The Mountaineers.
1975 Taylor River bridge completely washed out with only temporary replacements until 1979
1976 Alpine Lakes Wilderness area created.
Northwest Wilderness Programs begins managing Goldmyer Hot Springs.
1977 Mount Si Conservation Area created (no such thing as an NRCA yet)
3rd highest recorded discharge at Tanner gage, 30,200 cfs
1978 Pacific Crest trail rerouted out of the Middle Fork
1980s Closure of last lumber mill in North Bend.
1983 Goldmyer caretakers begin living on the property year-round.
1987 Mount Si NRCA created
1989 Two new steel and concrete bridges are completed, spanning the Taylor River at the road 6240 junction and at the Dorothy Lake trailhead.
A new footbridge over the Middle Fork river just below the Dingford Creek confluence is dedicated on October 22.
1990 Mount Si trail renovated.
November flood severity rivals or exceeds the great 1959 flood.
1991 A May mudslide closes the Middle Fork road at MP 15 leaving an 80 foot long chasm. Repairs are not made until fall of 1993.
1993 MidFORC (Middle Fork Outdoor Recreation Coalition) formed in June.
1994 Gateway bridge installed.
Mine Creek campground closed.
1997 Carl Dreisbach publishes the “Middle Fork Guide”
2002 midforc.org website launches
2003 First Middle Fork ATM Plan released, then withdrawn because of unresolved issues with road maintenance beyond the Dingford gate.
Cadman begins gravel mining on Grouse Ridge after years of controversy, hearings, and negotiations
2004 Garfield Infinite Bliss sport route construction completed and published in Rock & Ice magazine
2005 Middle Fork Snoqualmie ATM plan adopted, including an updated road agreement acceptable to inholders.
2006 Mount Si trail gets major rehabilitation.
Taylor River campground opened on Memorial Day, May 29.
Highest recorded discharge at Tanner gage, 31,700 cfs on November 6. Flood takes the “Island” out of “Island Drop.”
Unofficial creek-side Kamikaze Falls trail closed.
2007 Middle Fork road permanently gated at Dingford Creek in June
2008 Mount Si bridge replaced.
midforc.org website goes offline
2009 2nd highest recorded discharge at Tanner gage, 31,200 cfs on January 7. Flood results in 22 washouts, including the Taylor River bridge. Reopened in December.
North Bend annexes Tanner.
Temporary shooting ban implemented.
2010 Rerouted, renamed Teneriffe Falls trail completed.
middleforkgiants.com website launches.
Permanent shooting ban implemented in September.
2011 Middle Fork Snoqualmie NRCA created
2012 January ice storm downs hundreds of trees, takes out North Bend power.
New Mailbox Peak trail construction begins, complete with parking lot and toilet.
Granite Lakes road-to-trail conversion begins.
Pratt connector trail completed.
DNR Snoqualmie Corridor public planning meetings occur.
middleforkgiants.com website goes offline.
2013 Granite Lakes road-to-trail conversion completed.
midforkrocks.com website launches
2014 Middle Fork road paving project construction begins in May. By October, the last 2 miles to the Taylor Campground were paved.
New Mailbox trail opened on September 27, 2014.
Alpine Lakes Wilderness expands to include the Pratt Valley.
Teneriffe road-to-trail conversion started.
DNR unveils it’s Snoqualmie Corridor plan
Indiegogo campaign crowd sources almost $5,000 to help fund recreational improvements.
2015 January 5 storm causes washouts and slumps, closing the Middle Fork road.
Middle Fork road paving project construction May to October. Two more miles were paved in July, 2015 between the Big Blowout Creek and MP 10.6 bridges.
REI raises $68,790 for Middle Fork trail maintenance.
DNR begins work on Champion Beach and Mine Creek river access, and an official Granite Creek shortcut trail.
A series of major fall storms blow hundreds of trees down on the road and trails, but cause no major road washouts.
2016 Middle Fork road paving project construction April 18 through September 30. The remaining miles of road were paved except for a short section at Champion Beach.
Work continues on the uppermost section of the new Mailbox Peak trail
2017 Forterra purchases Blethan Lake parcel for inclusion in the Mount Si NRCA.
Rare ice circle forms just downstream of the Big River Bridge.
New Mount Teneriffe trailhead constructed.
Granite Creek parking lot and the Oxbow Trail parking pullout constructed.
Middle Fork paving project concludes?

Names of the Middle Fork drainage

  • Bandera Mountain: Most likely named after the Bandera railroad station in the South Fork Snoqualmie valley. The reason the station was named Bandera remains unknown.
  • Blethen Lake: Named for Col. Alden J. Blethen, owner of the Seattle Times Newspaper. The land around the lakes was more recently owned by the Cugini family until being sold to the DNR in January, 2017.
  • Bryant: Bryant Peak was named for Sydney V. Bryant of The Mountaineers. Bryant was the first chairman of the Snoqualmie Lodge Committee. The lodge is one of the most popular of the club’s resources for members. The name was proposed by the Mountaineers in October, 1924.
  • Burnt Boot Creek: Named by a prospector (Revington?) in 1888 or 1889 after he fell asleep by his fire and, well do I need to say it?.
  • Camp Brown: Named after Robert Brown, civil engineer for laying track on the Middle Fork railroad who was run over and killed by a backing locomotive in 1928.
  • Chair: Chair Peak is named for its shape as viewed from Kaleetan Peak.
  • Chikamin: Chinook jargon word for both “metal” and “money” is the name for this peak.
  • Dutch Miller Gap: Named after Andrew Jackson “Dutch” Miller who prospected La Bohn Gap deposits in 1896.
  • Goldmyer: William Goldmyer (1843-1924) was the first settler of what is now the Sand Point neighborhood of Seattle in 1868, but also a logger, farmer, Fall City resident, and miner. What is known as Goldmyer Hot Springs today was first developed by William as Crystal Hot Springs Resort in the early 1900’s.
  • Hinman: The mountain whose western glaciers are headwaters of the Middle Fork is named for Dr. Harry B. Hinman who lead the Mountaineer’s first outing up Mt. Stuart in 1914.
  • Kaleetan: This peak was originally named “The Matterhorn” but was later renamed, by The Mountaineers, for the Chinook Jargon word for “arrow head”.
  • Lake Kulla Kulla: Chinook jargon for “bird”, or alternatively Hitchman says it means “enclosed” which is an apt description.
  • Lemah: This five-fingered peak is named for a native word for “fingers”.
  • Little Big Chief Mountain: Named for Lorenz A. “Little Big Chief” Nelson, member of the 1925 Mountaineers Summer outing in the area.
  • Lundin: Lundin Peak is named for J. W. Lundin, pioneer forest ranger..
  • Mailbox Peak: Named after the mailbox that has been on the summit since the 1960s. Unofficial name first used in print in a trip report by Sally Pfeiffer in the May 1991 issue of Pack & Paddle magazine. The actual mailbox has experienced many incarnations, with the 15th version appearing in the spring of 2017.
  • Marten Lake: Once there were many native Pine Martens in this area, but due to heavy trapping, few remain.
  • Mason Lake: While not in the Middle Fork drainage, this lake sits between Middle Fork peaks Mt Defiance and Bandera. It is named after Marshall C. “Cruse” Mason who operated Camp Mason on the Sunset Highway that ran through the South Fork.
  • Melakwa Lake/Pass: Appropriately named by The Mountaineers using the Indian term for mosquito.
  • Middle Chief Mountain: First climbed during a 1945 Mountaineers special climber’s outing and named for it’s position between Summit Chief and Little Big Chief.
  • Morpheus: Mount Morpheus was unofficially named by John Roper in 1995 for the greek god of dreams after nearby Dream Lake.
  • Mowitch Lake: Chinook Jargon for “deer”.
  • Nordrum: Nordrum Lake and Nordrum Lookout are both named for Martin Nordrum, a pioneer who lived up Quartz Creek.
  • North Bend: Named after the location where the Snoqualmie River bends to the North. Originally named Snoqualmie but name was changed by the railroad due to confusion with Snoqualmie Falls (current day Snoqualmie).
  • Overcoat: Overcoat Peak was named by Albert Sylvester (who made the first ascent) for the overcoat he left on top.
  • Paperboy: Jeff Howbert’s playful unofficial name of the 5013′ high point near Blethen Lake (see above).
  • Pedro Camp: Pedro was the blacksmith for a prospecting crew that patented the Hardscrabble claims.
  • Pratt: Prospector George A. Pratt staked claims for iron ore on Chair Peak in 1887. He built a primitive trail up the Pratt River valley to avoid tolls along the more established South Fork wagon road.
  • Russian Butte: David Rushing had a cabin in the early 1900s at the base of the NW cliffs. From that direction the peak does looks like a “Butte”. Perhaps “Russian Butte” derived from “Rushing’s Butte”. The name doesn’t appear on maps until 1960.
  • Si: Josiah Merritt staked a claim at the base of Mt. Si, being one of the first settlers when he arrived in 1862 after little luck in California searching for gold. He was a character and curmudgeon known affectionately as Uncle Si. The mountain in his backyard was named in his honor. He passed away in 1882 and is buried in the Fall City Cemetary.
  • Snoqualmie: From the native word “Sdob-dwahib-bluh” for moon. The Snoqualmie Valley is “The Valley of the Moon”.
  • Talapus Lake: Chinook jargon for “coyote”.
  • Taylor: William Taylor, an early pioneer, came to the greater Snoqualmie Valley in 1872. He is the founder who first platted North Bend. Mr. Taylor was a farmer, county commissioner from 1888-1891, and operated the general store from 1895 to 1907. In 1929 he helped lay out the route of the Mt. Si trail (the ‘Old Trail’, now accessible from the Little Si trailhead) which was dedicated as the “Taylor Memorial Trail”. He passed away in 1941 at the age of 88 and is buried in the North Bend cemetery.
  • Thompson: Thompson Peak and, presumably, Lake are named for R. H. Thomson (landmark spelling is incorrect), a Seattle city engineer.
  • Treen Peak: Named for Lewis A. Treen, supervisor of the Snoqualmie National Forest 1918-1931.
  • Mount Wright: George E. Wright was a charter member of the Mountaineers. He contributed generously with plans and physical labor for trails and other improvements around the Snoqualmie Lodge. The name was proposed in October, 1924.

Much of the content on this page was contributed by Brad Allen from the former middleforkgiants.com